Micro-targeting, smart marketing and DIY kits – how to make personalised beauty relevant to the masses: Mintel

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

"Consumers are expecting brands and expecting products to cater to their lifestyles but also let them express their unique personalities,” says Mintel (Getty Images)
"Consumers are expecting brands and expecting products to cater to their lifestyles but also let them express their unique personalities,” says Mintel (Getty Images)

Related tags Mintel personalised beauty microbiome Skin care Fragrance make-up

Micro-targeting certain consumer groups, tweaking your marketing message and handing control back to the consumer are just some ways industry can scale up personalised beauty, says Mintel.

“Personalisation needs to be mass-produced to be relevant, accessible and affordable. So, how do we speak to and address the thousands of consumers but make them feel it’s individual with our products and services?”​ – Margaux Caron’s - global beauty analyst at Mintel – first question in her presentation at the SEPAWA Congress in Berlin last week.

Personalised beauty that caters to lifestyle and identity

Caron told attendees personalisation in beauty and personal care was in “high demand”, ​particularly across Western Europe, but getting personalised beauty right was less about super-tailored products and more about resonating with and empowering consumers.

“We all know that personalised products are something trending at the moment, but we want to show you that it goes beyond skin deep and consumers are expecting brands and expecting products to cater to their lifestyles but also let them express their unique personalities​.”

“…Obviously when we think about personalisation, we think about made-to-measure products, but what we’ve seen rising is that consumers want to go further than the topical benefits of personalised products. They really want brands to adapt to their lifestyles and identities,”​ she said.

Developing wide-reaching personalised products that achieved this could be done in two ways, Caron said: either through micro-targeting a certain population group or leaving consumers to tailor their own finished products.

Micro-targeting, probiotics and tailored messaging

“Micro-targeting is actually really important to consider when you want to develop personalised products for many and not just the happy few. It’s not something that’s going to be ‘made to measure’ if we want to reach a cohort of consumers,” ​Caron said.

Products that targeted specific age groups or genders, for example, already felt relatively adapted, she said, and whilst this wasn’t personalisation in the truest sense, it was an interesting strategy for under-served cohorts. Women aged 55+ and men, for example, were two consumer groups that believed beauty was not well adapted to them.

In skin care, Caron said targeting these consumer groups could be as simple as acknowledging how products reacted differently on different skin.

“In skin care, it’s going to be about the microbiome. We all have our personal microbiome and all the products enriched with probiotics are going to react with this microbiome. In terms of marketing messaging, it’s really, really interesting to actually tap into the fact that consumers are going to be aware they have this specific, personal microbiome and that a product can actually adapt to many.”

And for the time being, Caron said probiotic skin care had plenty of “white space” ​for investment and product development, ​given it only represented 1.8% of new product launches in 2018.

There was also plenty of scope in fragrances - pushing the idea that perfumes evolved differently on different skins, she said.

DIY beauty for ‘affordable and accessible’ uniqueness

The alternative strategy, Caron said – letting consumers tailor their own beauty products – worked better when targeting younger cohorts and was especially powerful in perfume.

Do-It-Yourself beauty, she said, was an “affordable and accessible”​ way to offer personalised beauty products, and there was strong consumer interest in it. Almost one-third of UK consumers, for example, were interested in proactive involvement and control over beauty products because most felt pre-personalised products weren’t necessarily personalised in the right way, Caron said.

Offering kits, therefore, where consumers could blend or mix their own products worked well, she said, or offering a way that consumers could tweak formulas, perhaps online, to remove or add certain ingredients.

Not only did this DIY beauty strategy empower consumers who were looking to express their personality and uniqueness, Caron said it also empowered consumers with allergies or lifestyle requirements.

Caron said the biggest opportunities for personalised beauty were in skin care, fragrance and base make-up. “Obviously, consumers want something that addresses their specific skin needs; fragrance is more about personality and expressing how they feel – it’s a little bit like fashion where they want to express their uniqueness; and obviously with base make-up consumers want something tailored to their skin tone.”

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